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Termite inspections for home buyers: What’s required & who pays

Termite inspections for home buyers: What’s required & who pays

Posted on Mar 7, 2019, 8:00:00 AM GMT

When you are buying a house, you may be required to get a termite inspection before the lender approves your mortgage. These wood-eating insects can cause significant damage and the signs of termites are not easy to spot.

There are different inspection requirements depending on the type of mortgage and the location of the home. Lenders may require an inspection in warm regions where termites are commonly found.

Homebuyers usually pay for professional termite and home inspections, and it is a good idea to make the purchase contingent on the results. You don’t want to discover your new home needs expensive repairs after you have closed the sale! The cost of repairing any termite damage is usually paid by the seller.

Termite Inspections for VA Loans

When you buy a house with a VA loan, you must have the home inspected by an appraiser to ensure the property is safe, clean, and structurally sound. Appraisers must report signs of termite damage they find. In places where termites are common, the Department of Veterans Affairs requires a separate termite inspection.

Either the buyer or the seller can pay for the appraisal, but VA rules require the seller to pay for the termite report. All damage found must be repaired before the mortgage will be approved.

Termite Inspections for FHA Loans

A home appraisal is needed for FHA loans and the appraiser is required to look for termites and report signs of damage. When evidence is seen, you must get a professional inspection, and repairs must be done before the loan is approved. Homebuyers generally pay for these appraisals and inspections.

Do conventional mortgages require a termite inspection?

Conventional loans are mortgages offered by lenders without a government guarantee. These lenders may make a termite inspection a condition of approving your loan because termite damage can reduce the value of the home and affect the amount you can borrow.

What are signs a house has termites?

Wood that sounds hollow, floors that sag, walls with cracks, maze patterns in wood, and mud tubes near the foundation of a house are signs of termites. These insects often look like white ants with large heads and bodies. Read more about how to spot termite damage.

How much do termite treatments cost?

It can cost between $200 and $900 to treat termites, according to Home Advisor. If the entire house needs to be treated, homeowners can pay between $1,200 and $2,500. The cost of repairs depends on the damage. When termites eat through wood framing and supports, the repairs can be expensive. Homeowners insurance does not pay to repair termite damage, so it is a good idea to look for evidence of these pests in a home you want to buy and have it inspected and repaired by a professional.

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